Ethical Theory and Moral Practice

, Volume 8, Issue 1–2, pp 105–121

Reasonable Partiality and Animal Ethics



Moral psychology is often ignored in ethical theory, making applied ethics difficult to achieve in practice. This is particularly true in the new field of animal ethics. One key feature of moral psychology is recognition of the moral primacy of those with whom we enjoy relationships of love and friendship – philia in Aristotle’s term. Although a radically new ethic for animal treatment is emerging in society, its full expression is severely limited by our exploitative uses of animals. At this historical moment, only the animals with whom we enjoy philia – companion animals – can be treated with unrestricted moral concern. This ought to be accomplished, both for its own sake and as an ideal model for the future evolution of animal ethics.

Key Words

animal ethics companion animals moral psychology philia reasonable partiality 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, in R. McKeon (ed.), The Basic Works of Aristotle, New York: Random House, 1972.Google Scholar
  2. Edel, A., Aristotle and his Philosophy. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 1982.Google Scholar
  3. Harrison, R., Animal Machines. London: Vincent Stuart, 1964.Google Scholar
  4. Hume, D., in L.A. Selby-Bigge (ed.), A Treatise of Human Nature, 1963 Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1739.Google Scholar
  5. Rollin, B.E., Animal Rights and Human Morality. Buffalo, NY: Prometheus Books, 1981.Google Scholar
  6. Katcher, A. and Beck, A., New Perspectives on Our Lives With Companion Animals, Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1983.Google Scholar
  7. Katz, J., The New Work of Dogs, New York: Random House, 2003.Google Scholar
  8. Rollin, B.E., There is Only One Categorical Imperative, Kant-Studien 67(1) (1976), pp. 60–72.Google Scholar
  9. Rollin, B.E., The Unheeded Cry: Animal Consciousness, Animal Pain and Science. Oxford: Oxford University Press. (Second Edition Iowa State University Press, 1998), 1989.Google Scholar
  10. Rollin, B.E., Veterinary Medical Ethics: Theory and Cases. Ames Iowa: Iowa State University Press, 1999.Google Scholar
  11. Rollin, B.E. and Rollin, M.D.H., Dogmatisms and Catechisms – Ethics and Companion Animals, Anthrozoos 14(1) (2001), pp. 4–11.Google Scholar
  12. Rollin, B.E., Ethics, Animal Welfare, and ACUCs, in J.P. Gluck, T. DiPasquale and F.B. Orlans (eds.), Applied Ethics in Animal Research: Philosophy, Regulation and Laboratory Applications}. West Lafayette, Indiana: Purdue University Press, 2002, pp. 113–131.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyColorado State UniversityFort CollinsUSA

Personalised recommendations